He is an inspiration to many. The king of talk show radio, Rush Limbaugh, 69, made the hardest announcement of his life on Monday, Feb. 4, when he spoke on air to his millions of avid listeners. As he wound up his broadcast, he spoke from the heart about himself, something he has always avoided doing.
“This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I’ve known this moment was coming,” Limbaugh said. “I’m sure that you all know by now that I really don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like making things about me … one thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that had developed between all of you and me.”
Limbaugh said his show gives him great joy, and he has a deep connection that he can feel, with his listeners.
“So, I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you. It’s a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today,” he said. “I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down. The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”
He first realized he had a problem on his birthday, Jan. 12 when he started to experience shortness of breath. Since then, he has had two medical diagnoses of his problem—advanced lung cancer. He is to undergo further testing, and he intends to “push ahead and keep everything as normal.”
“I thought about not telling anybody,” he said. “It is what it is. You know me, I’m the mayor of Realville. This has happened and my intention is to come here every day I can, and do this program as normally and competently and expertly as I do each and every day because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally.”
His strong Christian faith is helping him to remain stoic. “I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about, but I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously,” he said. “I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms.”
After leaving his golden microphone on Monday, he had treatment and “hopes” to return by Thursday. “If not, it’ll be as soon as I can,” Limbaugh said. “Every day I’m not here, I’ll be thinking of you and missing you.”
“I hope I will be talking about this as little as necessary in the coming days, but we’ve got a great bunch of doctors, a great team assembled, we’re at full speed ahead on this,” Limbaugh said. “It’s just now a matter of implementing what we are going to be told later this week.”
“I felt that I had to tell you because that’s the kind of relationship that I feel like I have with those of you in this audience,” he said. “Over the years, a lot of people have been very nice, telling me how much this program has meant to them but, whatever that is, it pales in comparison to what you all have meant to me,” he added.
“The Rush Limbaugh Show” has reached up to 27 million people per week on more than 600 stations, according to his website. Limbaugh, a pioneer of talk radio, has been on the air with his talk show,”The Rush Limbaugh Show,” for over 30 years.
Sean Hannity from Fox News responded to the shock announcement on his own radio show, “I don’t think talk radio would ever be anything like it is, or I’d be here if it wasn’t for all that Rush has done,” he said.